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Poster: banditos33 Date: Oct 2, 2009 6:04pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Do you really need 2 time keepers?

Comparied to alot of you on here my 25 years or so of GD experience isnt much so here we go. In that time I have gravitaded back and forth between favorite years and members. Were they better with just Billy?

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Poster: Tidewater four ten O nine Date: Oct 3, 2009 6:53am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Do you really need 2 time keepers?

'Live/Dead' was responsible for turning me on to the 'Dead' and a significant aspect of that was down to the two drummers playing against each other (probably the wrong phrase, but I'm sure you know what I mean) during St. Stephen, The Eleven and Lovelight. Compare that to the fabled '77 year where the two drummers merely seem to duplicate what each other is doing and often only succeed in slowing everything down and maybe you can understand when I 'larff' at claims that Barton Hall was the best ever dead show - never in a million years. Give me up to when Mickey left and Billy on his own (the honey years) as equal first with anything after Mickey rejoined as a very poor third place. Maybe (when he rejoined) Mickey added something to the group but I don't think it was anything audible. But I told you that (IMHO) before ...... Feel Free ("I Feel Free") to shoot me down ........

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Poster: William Tell Date: Oct 3, 2009 8:33am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Do you really need 2 time keepers?

Ah, excellent CREAM reference there...yeah, my problem is that unless I can "see" them, I have a really hard time "hearing" differences because I have such a poor "music appreciation" ear...so though I love StSt, I can't detect who is doing what, entirely due to my inability...I can hardly pick out lead verses rhyt guitar for crying out loud, unless the tape is well mixed, etc.

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Poster: Dudley Dead Date: Oct 3, 2009 8:58am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Do you really need 2 time keepers?

When Mickey came back, it was fine for a while, though not as free, but I think the band as a whole was moving that way . As has been said before, Mickey tended to push the beat, BIlly tended to lay back on the beat . As time went on this became more pronounced . Not all the songs, of course, sometimes the 2 drummers are marvelous ( "Fire" , etc.) ; but they're plenty of times they sound , lumpy, sloggy, leaded , or clumsy ; mostly noticed on the more straight ahead songs: the blues songs, county ones, and some of the ballads .
Not all of this can be laid on Mr. Hart, Garcia's shrinking into his own world,and a general lack of discipline , and no one wanting to be "boss", all add to the equation .

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Poster: BVD Date: Oct 3, 2009 10:38am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Do you really need 2 time keepers?

Agree with he should not have come back. Turn on a dime Grateful Dead is what gets me goin'. Love Kreutzman's style. Reminds me alot of Mitch Mitchell. Light and quick or beatin' the shit outa those skins. When Hart came back it was okay for a bit, but then it seemed that he just got in the way. And it is odd...Live Dead is some of the best music ever created and the two drummers were one mind. What happened?

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Poster: Diamondhead Date: Oct 2, 2009 6:26pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Do you really need 2 time keepers?

25 years is pretty old in Dead years. Anyway, I agree with Styrofoam Cueball. Just happens that my favorite years are 71 to 74. Coincidence? I think not :) At some point after 76, I stopped looking at Mickey as the drummer and thought of him more as the percussionist/colorist. Then again, if it wasn't for him, I might not have explored World music. Trades - trades.

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Poster: Styrofoam Cueball Date: Oct 2, 2009 6:16pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Do you really need 2 time keepers?

Yes. Although when Mickey first joined, the 2-drummer line-up kind of kicked them into a higher gear (see 1968), I don't think he should have re-joined after the Hiatus.

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Poster: William Tell Date: Oct 2, 2009 9:28pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Do you really need 2 time keepers?

It's funny that we have had this conversation many times before, but rather than dredge up the old posts, easier to let each run it's course...right? Rob or LiA can find out where I contradict myself, so it keeps it amusing.

I do agree that post 75 it really didn't seem necessary. And I agree that 71 is a great year, with amazing, clean, simple sound. More than adequate.

68 is great, but of course, how much is Mickey? How much is TC? How much is Hunter? How much is just a "natural" evolution for them all?

Watching Mickey on Fest Express, since frankly, we have little to go on with video footage and such for the early era with them both, they both just seem to be drumming more or less the same...anyone watch NSBoog? Not sure how each of them is complimenting or just reenforcing the other?

I am sure others, like LiA, can provide much more insight into how important Mickey could be in 68 and 69, but what always struck me, and has been discussed quite a bit, is that with a band like CREAM, and my fav, GBaker, you get such a powerful sound on songs like SoyLove, and Spoonful, or a handful of others with a single drummer. Certainly Baker's solos blow our boys away in that respect, as many have commented on...now, tech prowess and such, I leave to others more schooled, but frankly, I often wondered why our two didn't put everyone else to shame. So, maybe it really didn't add that much more? My conclusion is that Mickey really might not have been necessary...?

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Poster: ned the head Date: Oct 2, 2009 9:52pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Do you really need 2 time keepers?

No Mickey would equal no Playin, no Fire, and no Greatest Story (no big loss on that one)
That being said, my favorite Dead is with one drummer. It's the jazzier stuff that really gets me off, compared to the bluesier stuff, as my tastes have been distilled and refined. But I think Keith had a lot to do with that sound.

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Poster: RBNW....new and improved! Date: Oct 4, 2009 3:02am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Do you really need 2 time keepers?

I'd say that phil and bobby seem to like the idea of 2 timekeepers or they wouldn't have had 2 in the latest band Furthur so I say yes that's my final answer.....

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Poster: Earl B. Powell Date: Oct 2, 2009 6:49pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Do you really need 2 time keepers?

Garcia had impeccable taste in drummers as timekeepers and it's always surprised me that Mickey ever got the nod to play at all. If you really watch what concert video is available where Mickey is present, you'll note Garcia frequently looking in his direction, and I suggest it isn't to exchange pleasantries.

On the other hand, check out the 72 footage from Europe, and Garcia never or rarely pays attention to Billy, same with Tutt in JGB. He had implicit trust in those two to keep good time and nothing more.

In an interview, Lesh has also made mention of the band in a sailing metaphor, suggesting that a bigger ship took much longer to turn. that the transitions were accomplished much more quickly with Billy alone on the traps.

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Poster: DeadRed1971 Date: Oct 2, 2009 7:20pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Do you really need 2 time keepers?

Billy took the bit in his teeth so completely in the Capitol Theater run in February '71 when Mickey quit, it was no doubt it was BK as the "Man".

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Poster: skuzzlebutt Date: Oct 2, 2009 7:41pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Do you really need 2 time keepers?

I like the two drummer thing before he left (1970 is my favorite year), but agree with the others than Mickey coming back was a mistake. It definitely slowed them down.

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Poster: Solo Head Date: Oct 2, 2009 8:42pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Do you really need 2 time keepers?

Depends on the music you want to play. Primal=Two,
Jazzy=One, Everyone on Drugs= Doesn't matter, Playing Arenas and Stadiums for the remainder= Two.

I don't think any of us (non-drummers, though I do play a mean air-drum) were critiquing the number of drummers when we were seeing the band, so why now?

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Poster: banditos33 Date: Oct 3, 2009 7:03am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Do you really need 2 time keepers?

It is a question nothing more. Any reply is only opinion and is not going to change the history of the band. Just seems to me that the more that I listen to the music Harts role as a contributer was minimal unless you count drums and that weird noise shit the he promotes and I could personally do without. Just watch Billy on the GD movie. He alone is better than two.

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Poster: skuzzlebutt Date: Oct 3, 2009 5:44am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Do you really need 2 time keepers?

Personally, I was less discriminating about a lot of things when I was younger- women, drugs, you name it. Plus, the idea that bringing Mickey back into the fold limited/slowed down the band is hardly new.

There are a ton of post 1976 shows I love; we're really just playing a game of "what if" here.

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Poster: hippie64 Date: Oct 3, 2009 6:44am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Do you really need 2 time keepers?

I've always thought there was a certian amount of magic between the two of them. Mickey always seemed to compliment BK in the best way.I don't like to think I'm jaded in my thinking, I'm no drummer,but I can bang the hell out of a jimbah, talking drum,bongos,conga, my specialty is the triangle :-P its really the highlight of our drum circles.
But what I was trying to convey is there was some complex shit gonna on between the 2 of them, for me you could at least always count on the rhythm section to hold there shit together while the rest of the band wandered.The combination of Phil+Drummer(2)+Keyboard= a steam hammer of a band. I can imagine there were many times when Mickey should of backed off and let Bill nail it down, Maybe Bob and Jerry got that simplicity from other outlets like Ratdog and JGB so when it was time to stage the Dead it was probably a hell of a ride.
Do you really need 2 time keepers? No. I love the sloppy drums of Keith Moon, The precision of Neil Peart, The Power of Jon Bonham, even the swing of Levon Helm, With Bill and Mick I thought they had that in spades, and when it was time for the drum portion,the two of them truly became a beast. Its not coventional thinking really but the Dead never were conventional. Later SB, peace.

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Poster: skuzzlebutt Date: Oct 3, 2009 9:18am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Do you really need 2 time keepers?

I think the two drummer thing worked best in the very early years, definitely 1968 and into '69- very powerful. I just think Billy got so good after a while that Mickey wasn't really necessary for the direction they were heading. As someone noted above, if you listen to the Capitol Theater Feb '71 shows (where Mickey quit after the first night), you barely even notice a difference.

In my mind, the irreducible core of the Grateful Dead is Jerry, Phil, Bob, and Billy. Others have have come and gone over the years, adding flavors along the way, but to me those four are really the essential elements.

None of this is meant as a dig at Mickey, BTW. It's just personal taste.